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Sonnet Echo Express III-R Thunderbolt 2 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards 

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Today's ultra-light notebooks, mini, and all-in-one desktop computers now have tremendous processing power-power that many thought would only be poss...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 07-23-2017

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OVERVIEW

Connectivity and capability expander.

Today's ultra-light notebooks, mini, and all-in-one desktop computers now have tremendous processing power-power that many thought would only be possible in full-size workstation or large desktop computers. Smaller in size and more portable, they're very desirable. For pros in the creative fields, processing power alone is not enough. A prime example is the new Mac Pro.

Proven to be a processing powerhouse and packed with Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 ports, it lacks the PCIe expansion slots necessary to install specialty cards to connect various video and audio inputs, for transcoding data, and to connect to high-speed storage and networks. With the Echo Express III-R, Sonnet has created a solution that leverages the paradigm shift enabled by Thunderbolt technology, allowing PCIe expansion slots to be connected outside a computer. This rackmount Thunderbolt-to-PCIe card expansion chassis makes it possible for you to connect three professional video capture, audio interface, SAS or SATA HBA, 16Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller PCIe cards to any Mac with a Thunderbolt port.

Three Slots, No Compromise
Sonnet's Echo Express III-R supports three full-size PCIe cards, up to 12.28" (full-length). The III-R integrates a universal 300W power supply and includes a 75W PCIe power connector for cards that require supplementary power, such as the Avid Pro Tools|HDX or the new RED ROCKET-X. Even with all that power, the III-R is enviro-friendly; it automatically powers on or off whenever the connected computer powers on or wakes, or powers off or sleeps, respectively. The use of large, slow-spinning fans in the Echo Express III-R makes it a remarkably quiet operator. Two Thunderbolt ports support daisy chaining of up to six devices to a single port on your computer.

Built for Speed
20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology-equipped computers are here. The original 10Gbps Thunderbolt interface has provided breakthrough bandwidth for external expansion, more than sufficient to support the maximum performance of most PCIe cards. However, some high bandwidth cards such as the RED ROCKET, 16Gb Fibre Channel, multi-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet cards, or the use of other bandwidth-hungry cards require more than 10Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 removes this barrier by providing more bandwidth for demanding applications. The Echo Express III-R's Thunderbolt 2 interface takes full advantage of this increased bandwidth to ensure optimum performance from installed cards when the chassis is connected to a Thunderbolt 2-equipped computer. Need to connect to a computer equipped with 10Gbps Thunderbolt? No problem, the Echo Express III-R is fully compatible with earlier generation Thunderbolt computers as well.

Smart Design Inside and Out
Constructed of heavy-duty steel, the Echo Express III-R's enclosure not only provides secure mounting for the inner assembly and protection for the PCIe cards installed inside, but it supports maximum airflow for cooling, regardless of where it is installed in a rack. The fans are variable-speed and temperature-controlled, and the computer-modeled airflow management ensures that even hot-running cards and the chassis' components remain reliably cool without the need to install an extra PCIe blower card that would prevent the use of one of the three slots. Because the fans automatically speed up and slow down as needed, there is no guesswork in setting a switch position, and no need for tools to change fan speed settings. Since Echo Express products automatically power on and off with your computer, there is no power switch needed on the chassis. The III-R includes adjustable and removable rackmount extension rails that allow the chassis to be installed securely in a variety of racks from 16" to 24" deep. The III-R provides space for other equipment, too. Utilizing the optional Echo Express III-R Mobile Rack Kit, you can install two 5.25-inch form factor mobile rack devices (sold separately) in the III-R's enclosure without taking up additional rack space.

Quiet, Please
The Echo Express III-R was designed to be remarkably quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments and it is indeed the quietest Echo chassis yet. Its dual, ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled fans assist the natural convection of warm air through the PCIe cards. Echo Express III-R's fans vent warm air through custom Venturi openings with low form-drag grills, resulting in reduced air velocity, turbulence, and, consequently, fan noise.

Every Thunderbolt-Compatible Card Supported
The Echo Express III-R supports three standard width, full-length PCIe cards, or one double-width, full-length card plus one single-width card, enabling it to support every Thunderbolt-compatible card available. PCIe 1.1, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 3.0 cards are supported. Do you have a card in mind but aren't sure it's compatible? We've worked closely with PCIe card manufacturers to provide a list of compatible PCIe cards on our supporting PCIeCard Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart. The chart provides an up-to-date list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.

RED ROCKET Supporter
If you're a RED ROCKET user, you already know that the card normally takes up two PCIe slots-one for the card itself and another for the BNC connector bracket (for HD-SDI output). Sonnet designed the Echo Express III-R to accommodate the card/bracket pair in a single slot. This Echo chassis includes mounting holes designed specifically for the installation of two BNC connectors, enabling you to install the RED ROCKET card in one slot and its BNC connectors in the Echo chassis' mounting holes, leaving the two remaining slots open. The extra bandwidth afforded by the Thunderbolt 2 interface significantly doubles the ROCKET's throughput, too.

Desktop Version Available
The Echo Express III is available in two versions, the Echo Express III-D (desktop) and Echo Express III-R (rackmount), to suit your workflow needs. The III-D's form factor makes it easy to transport. The III-R mounts in a rack space 2U tall, and is just 16" deep, making it perfect for use in a wide range of popular mobile racks, carts, and rack cases, and server rooms as well.

5-Year Warranty Included at No Extra Cost
There's no need for you to pay an additional 10-15% on top of the purchase price to extend the warranty period beyond one year-Sonnet backs the Echo Express III-R with its Pro 5-year warranty.

FEATURES
  • Use high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt-equipped computers
  • Maximum performance with computers with Thunderbolt 2 technology
  • Supports 3 full-size cards, or one double-width card plus one single-width card
  • Remarkably Quiet”Large, temperature-controlled, variable-speed fan
  • Built-in 300W power supply with 75W auxiliary power connector
  • Rugged Steel Housing”Provides robust and secure protection for any environment
  • Every Thunderbolt-Compatible Card Supported

Expand your system's capabilities!

SPECIFICATIONS

Echo Express III-R Thunderbolt 2 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards

  • Hardware
    Warranty 5-year
    Dimensions WxDxH: 19 x 16 x 3.48 in. (48.26 x 40.6 x 8.85 cm)
    Weight
    19 lbs (8.6 kg)
    Form Factor Rackmount
    External Connectors Two Thunderbolt
    Internal Connector 6-pin Mini-Fit Jr (same type as on legacy Mac Pro motherboard; provides up to 75W of power for PCIe cards that require supplemental power)
    Expansion Slots
    One x8 mechanical (x8 electrical) PCIe 2.0
    One x16 mechanical (x8 electrical) PCIe 2.0
    One x8 mechanical (x4 electrical) PCIe 2.0
    PCIe Cards Supported(1)
    One full length, full-height, double-width PCIe card, plus one single-width card
    or
    Three full length, full-height, single-width PCIe cards
    Compatible PCIe Cards(2) Up-to-date PCIe cards listed on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart
    Power Supply Universal 300W, 115-230V AC, 50-60 Hz
    Operating Temperature
    0? C to 35? C (32? F to 95? F)
    RoHS Compliant Yes
    Package Contents
    Echo Express III-R chassis(1)
    Power cord
    Thunderbolt cable lock(3)
    Documentation
    Note: PCIe cards and Thunderbolt cable sold separately

    Mac Compatibility
    Mac with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port
    OS X 10.8.5+

    PC Compatibility
    PC with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port(4)
    Windows 8, 7

    PCIe Card Compatibility
    For up-to-date PCIe card compatibility see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart

    Technical Notes
    PCIe cards sold separately; requires Thunderbolt cable, available at the Sonnet Online Store or the Apple Store.
    Compatibility requires the installation of Thunderbolt technology-aware drivers, available from the manufacturer. See our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of up-to-date compatible PCIe cards.
    Thunderbolt cable lock not compatible with optical Thunderbolt cables.
    Windows requires a Thunderbolt 2 interface in the computer and in the expansion chassis to support more than two PCIe controllers. Note that some PCIe cards have a bridge to multiple controllers, so it is possible for a single dual-controller PCIe card to reach the limit if not connected via Thunderbolt 2. Not all Mac-compatible PCIe cards are also compatible with Windows. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for details.
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